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النشر الإلكتروني

THE OLD MAN'S LAMENT.

Vain are such wishes! I no more may tread

With lingering step and slow the green hill-side;
Before me now life's shortening path is spread,

And I must onward, whatsoe'er betide;
The pleasant nooks of youth are pass'd for aye,
And sober scenes now meet the traveler on his way.

Alas! the dust which clogs my weary feet
Glitters with fragments of each ruin'd shrine,
Where once my spirit worshipp'd, when, with sweet
And passionless devotion, it could twine

Its strong affections round earth's earthliest things,
Yet bear away no stain upon its snowy wings.

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What though some flowers have 'scaped the tempest's

wrath?

Daily they droop by nature's swift decay: What though the setting sun still lights my path? Morn's dewy freshness long has pass'd away,

O! give me back life's newly-budded flowers, Let me once more inhale the breath of morning's hours!

My youth! my youth!-O, give me back my youth!
Not the unfurrow'd brow and blooming cheek;

But childhood's sunny thoughts, its perfect truth,
And youth's unworldly feelings, these I seek;
Ah, who could e'er be sinless and yet sage?

Would that I might forget Time's dark and blotted page!

CONSUMPTION.

BY J. G. PERCIVAL.

THERE is a sweetness in woman's decay,
When the light of beauty is fading away,
When the bright enchantment of youth is gone,
And the tint that glow'd, and the eye that shone,
And darted around its glance of power,
And the lip that vied with the sweetest flower
That ever in Pæstum's garden blew,

Or ever was steep'd in fragrant dew,
When all that was bright and fair is fled,
But the loveliness lingering round the dead.
O! there is a sweetness in beauty's close,
Like the perfume scenting the wither'd rose;
For a nameless charm around her plays,

And her eyes are kindled with hallow'd rays;
And a veil of spotless purity

Has mantled her cheek with its heavenly dye,
Like a cloud whereon the queen of night
Has pour'd her softest tint of light;

And there is a blending of white and blue,
Where the purple blood is melting through
The snow of her pale and tender cheek;
And there are tones that sweetly speak
Of a spirit who longs for a purer day,
And is ready to wing her flight away.

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CONSUMPTION.

In the flush of youth, and the spring of feeling,
When life, like a sunny stream, is stealing
Its silent steps through a flowery path,
And all the endearments that pleasure hath
Are pour'd from her full, o'erflowing horn,
When the rose of enjoyment conceals no thorn,
In her lightness of heart, to the cheery song
The maiden may trip in the dance along,
And think of the passing moment, that lies,
Like a fairy dream, in her dazzled eyes,
And yield to the present, that charms around
With all that is lovely in sight and sound;
Where a thousand pleasing phantoms flit,
With the voice of mirth, and the burst of wit,
And the music that steals to the bosom's core,
And the heart in its fulness flowing o'er
With a few big drops, that are soon repress'd,
For short is the stay of grief in her breast:
In this enliven'd and gladsome hour
The spirit may burn with a brighter power;
But dearer the calm and quiet day,
When the heaven-sick soul is stealing away.
And when her sun is low declining,
And life wears out with no repining,
And the whisper, that tells of early death,
Is soft as the west wind's balmy breath,
When it comes at the hour of still repose,
To sleep in the breast of the wooing rose:
And the lip, that swell'd with a living glow,
Is pale as a curl of new-fallen snow :
And her cheek, like the Parian stone, is fair-
But the hectic spot that flushes there

When the tide of life, from its secret dwelling,
In a sudden gush, is deeply swelling.

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CONSUMPTION.

And giving a tinge to her icy lips,
Like the crimson rose's brightest tips,
As richly red, and as transient too
As the clouds in autumn's sky of blue,
That seem like a host of glory, met
To honour the sun at his golden set;
O then, when the spirit is taking wing,
How fondly her thoughts to her dear one cling,
As if she would blend her soul with his

In a deep and long imprinted kiss;

So fondly the panting camel flies,

Where the glassy vapour cheats his eyes;
And the dove from the falcon seeks her nest,
And the infant shrinks to its mother's breast.
And though her dying voice be mute,
Or faint as the tones of an unstrung lute,
And though the glow from her cheek be fled,
And her pale lips cold as the marble dead,
Her eye still beams unwonted fires,
With a woman's love, and a saint's desires,
And her last, fond, lingering look is given
To the love she leaves, and then to heaven,
As if she would bear that love away
To a purer world, and a brighter day.

THE PRISONER FOR DEBT.

BY JOHN G. WHITTIER.

Look on him-through his dungeon-grate,
Feebly and cold, the morning light
Comes stealing round him, dim and late,
As if it loathed the sight,
Reclining on his strawy bed,

His hand upholds his drooping head-
His bloodless cheek is seam'd and hard,
Unshorn his gray, neglected beard;
And o'er his bony fingers flow
His long, dishevel❜d locks of snow.

No grateful fire before him glows,-
And yet the winter's breath is chill;
And o'er his half-clad person goes
The frequent ague-thrill!
Silent- -save ever and anon,

A sound half-murmur and half-groan,
Forces apart the painful grip
Of the old sufferer's bearded lip:
O, sad and crushing is the fate
Of old
age chain'd and desolate!

Just GOD! why lies that old man there?
A murderer shares his prison-bed,
Whose eyeballs, through his horrid hair,
Gleam on him fierce and red;

And the rude oath and heartless jeer
Fall ever on his loathing ear,

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